When Irelynn O’Malley returned to the country of her birth, she only wanted to be left alone to cry and sort out her life. She did not want a bossy young police officer dogging her every step, spouting off his opinions about nearly everything she did.
She did not want her cousin Rory hounding her to leave the shelter and go and stay with his parents. And she especially didn’t want her cousin Colleen, the one she’d been closest to as a child, to pry into her reasons for leaving Ireland.
Even if Colleen was willing to spill her guts about how she’d managed to catch such a handsome husband, that didn’t mean Irelynn was going to relax her guard. Oh, her story ‘twas interesting, to be sure, but Irelynn’s secrets were much too painful to talk about over Irish coffee and wine.
Publisher’s Note: This contemporary romance contains elements of power exchange and domestic discipline.
While Princess Hooligan is a brand new story in The O’Malley Series it also contains something I’ve been asked for many time, Colleen and Noah’s story. Going back in time is never easy, especially with a family like The O’Malleys, where there are so many characters.
When Colleen met Noah, Maggie was still married to her first husband Jim. Nick was a painful memory and only Jason was born. Patrick and Molly were married with their first son, Michael. Rory was still wickedly single and Bridget was a precocious adolescent.
While the entire family is present in the majority of the book, please remember there was a time before Abby and Connor, Winston and a slew of grandchildren.
Detective Rory O’Malley leaned back in his chair and planted his size fifteen shoes on his desk as he waited for his mother to answer the phone. Ian wasn’t thrilled to report he’d lost Rory’s little cousin and Rory even less so to hear it.
“I’m sorry, Rory, but she’s tricky and a liar to boot,” Ian snapped. “She promised me she’d wait right there while I got us both coffee and of course, she didn’t.”
Rory snorted and shook his head.
“She dresses like a bag lady, climbs into filthy dumpsters to retrieve bottles worth a damn nickel, has prostitutes for friends. And she gives them money! God forbid, she buys a decent pair of sneakers. Hers are so worn out I don’t know how she stays upright when the streets are slick. I think she has duct tape on the one.” Running a hand through his hair he moved to the window.
“I know you think I’m up for this job, but I’m not,” Ian insisted. “Get someone else to do it before I do something we’ll all regret.”
“Are you threatening my cousin?” Rory asked with a fierce scowl as he covered the phone with his hand. “Have you hurt her?”
“Not yet, but I’m getting uncomfortably close to teaching her a thing or two over my lap. You have no idea how badly I want to spank her and drag her to your mother’s,” Ian groaned, his face red with fury. “I’ve never met such an irresponsible woman in my entire life. She hasn’t a care for her own safety and lies with a straight face like she’s saying a blessing!”
For a moment Rory felt a pang of sympathy and almost told Ian about his own experience with his wife, Tess. She’d been much the same when he discovered her sleeping in the park. Rory held up his finger and spoke.
“Ma, we need a family meeting. See what you can do to arrange it and get back to me, will you? Yes, it’s about Irelynn. I know, Ma, but… what? No, Ian is doing the best he can. Yes, I remember she’s your niece and you love her,” he sighed, glaring again at Ian as though the entire thing was his fault. “We’ll get this straightened out. Yes, I promise, Ma. Call me as soon as you get it set. Yes, I’ll bring Ian, so you can talk to him. Okay, apple cobbler, I’ll tell him. Look, I gotta go. Love you too, Ma.”
“Do you see what I’m going through?” he demanded, dropping his feet to the floor. “My mother is not going to give me a minute’s peace until I do something about Irelynn and when I get home, Tess starts. Here I was, thinking all my sisters were settled in good marriages with men who would look out for them and then this imp from the old country shows up,” he sighed.
“I haven’t seen her since she was little, cute as a button and full of spirit. Now she’s here doing God knows what and with whom, and you, Sullivan, can’t keep track of one small woman. How are you ever going to make detective at this rate?”
“Now, that’s just not right, Rory. You know my hands are tied on this one. She hasn’t broken the law, yet. To hear her talk she’s tougher than a junk yard dog, and the worst thing is she believes it. Just what would you like me to do, kidnap her?” Ian asked angrily.
“Let’s not go that far,” Rory said, backtracking. “We need a plan and there’s nobody better at that than my sisters. I think a gentle touch is called for in this situation, much as I understand your desire to teach her a lesson about the world she’s chosen to inhabit. There’s a thug on every corner down there, but at least she’s kept her activities out in the open during daylight hours.”
“That’s true, for now, but how long can you keep me tailing her? Sooner or later someone is going to question why, and I can hardly explain that she’s your little cousin from Ireland and you’re worried about her. Why don’t you go and see her yourself?”
“I tried, and she smartly informed me that while she appreciated the family connection, she didn’t feel we owed her any special consideration and she would be sure to visit my mother once she was on her feet. For now, she preferred to be left on her own, which she was sure I would understand. Then she left the intercom. She might as well have slammed the door in my face.”
“Yes, she did and she’s lucky we are not allowed in that building or she would have been very sorry.” Digging through his desk drawer he pulled out a bottle of antacids and tossed some back. “Care for any?”
“Not yet,” Ian said, smiling for the first time since he entered the office, “but it’s comforting to know I’m not the only one Princess Hooligan is driving crazy.”
Irelynn O’Malley interviewed by Author. Stevie MacFarlane
Stevie: Tell me, what did you think when you first saw Officer Ian Sullivan?
Irelynn: To tell you the truth, it startled me a bit. He bares a strikin’ resemblance to a man I once knew.
Stevie: And who was that?
Irelynn: A man in Ireland. His name was Jamie.
Stevie: Was he important to you?
Irelynn: Aye, we were to be wed.
Stevie: Yet you’re still single. What happened?
Irelynn: I’d rather not talk about it, if you don’t mind. I don’t fancy people pokin’ around in me business.
Stevie: Okay, sorry I didn’t mean to pry.
Irelynn: Tis fine. What else did you want to know? I’ve thin’s to do today.
Stevie: Getting back to Ian, do you find him attractive?
Irelynn: A little, but he be more so if he kept his mouth shut.
Stevie: So you find him annoying?
Irelynn: Aye, always followin’ me around spoutin’ off his mouth about how I’m a burden on the taxpayers and how I should go to me family for help. He did save me arse a couple of times, but it still brings me great pleasure when I can give him the slip.
Stevie: So he has a problem with some of your choices?
Irelynn: Apparently so, he doesn’t like me livin’ in the shelter, and he dosen’t like how I chose to get me money nor what I do with it. Tis none of his business in any case. The bossy man even threatened to spank me. He has a lot of brass, that one, especially as he’s only trapsiin’ after me to appease Rory. He’s my cousin and a detective on the police force.
Stevie: That must be difficult. Does he do this everyday?
Irelynn: Aye, everyday for weeks and weeks. Eventually I began to think of him as a shadow and did me best to ignore him. Then the other men showed up and I had to change me routine a bit. It’s harder to avoid the three of them, but I manage most nights.
Stevie: Did you take Office Sullivan’s threats seriously?
Irelynn: No, Ian twould have to catch me first. I think he’s most likely all bluster, a mite puffed up with himself.
Stevie: Did that turn out to be the case?
Irelynn: Not exactly. Look, Ms. MacFarlane. I appreciate you writin’ this book about me and me family, but I have thin’s to do today and I best be about me business. The bottles don’t jump in me bag, you know.
Stevie: Yes, I’ve held you up long enough. I’m sorry I’ve taken up so much of your time, but I hope we see each other again. Will you be going to Abby and Connor’s wedding?
Stevie: Never mind, you’ll meet them farther along in the book.
Irelynn: If you say so. Good day to you.
Stevie MacFarlane, Author Interview for Blushing
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I think I knew from a very young age. Often I would read a book and want to make changes, lol. I was a prolific letter writer back in the day when people actually wrote letters using paper and pens. I would go into great detail about my life and what was going on with the kids. Once I wrote them all a letter telling them what they were entitled to under the law, as opposed to what they wanted and received from Bill and me. It was quite a hoot and they have often asked me if I still had it so they could give a copy to their kids when they got the ‘gimmies’.
Unfortunately, I no longer have it, but boy if I had all the letters I wrote while raising five children I would have a very funny book.
What is your writing process like?
I’m what’s known as a ‘pantster’, meaning I write by the seat of my pants. I don’t outline or plan, I just go with the flow. I keep sticky notes on the dining room table so I can jot down ideas and bits and pieces of conversation when it strikes me. I also use my iPhone for notes if I have nothing to write with.
As a rule I have several stories or WIP’s (works in progress) going at a time and work on whatever one strikes my fancy. Once I reach a certain point in the story I’m suddenly committed to finishing it and will work exclusively on that until it’s done.
I don’t read when I’m writing, so sadly I miss a lot of great books. It’s a mental commitment. When I write, I write and don’t want to be disturbed. Bill was great at sifting through all the typical family hoopla and only telling me what I needed to know. Getting distracted is a writer’s bane.
Every time I sit down to write I review the last thing I wrote, editing, making changes, etc. Once a story is finished I search for the words I overuse such as had, that and just and remove the ones that are not necessary. When I feel I’ve done as good a job editing as I can I send the document to my Kindle and listen to my book as I read along on my pc. There are many mistakes I hear that I didn’t see.
I give a lot of thought to the title, researching to make sure there are not a dozen other books out there with the same one. Then it’s off to the publisher.
What do you love most about your books?
That’s easy, the romance. I want the reader to feel the emotions my characters are feeling whether that’s anger or frustration, desire, heartbreak or humor. I want them to smile, maybe get a bit choked-up at times, but definitely they need to feel the love and devotion between my hero and heroine. That goes beyond sex and spankings. It’s got to be much deeper than that.
For a long time I’ve been referred to as the ‘sweet author’. I sort of resented that. I pushed my boundaries and wrote some pretty kinky sex scenes thinking I could make the leap and be considered a ‘real’ erotic author, lol. I would send my books in and check the ‘X- rated’ box. They always came back ‘R’ or somethings even less intense.
Finally I’ve come to a point where I can accept who I am. I’ll never be able to write dark BDSM. It’s not what I know. It’s not who I am. I was married for many years to a fairly dominant man, but everything he did was a testament to his devotion to me, his need to protect and care for me. The idea of him taking a belt to me is ludicrous. For one thing he didn’t need it; he had a hand the size of a dinner plate, lol. But beyond that it would not reflect anything about our relationship. It’s beyond the realm of my experience and while my imagination can take me further than I’ve been personally, it cannot take me to the dark side.
I know about love. I know about romance and devotion and commitment. I know about having fun and finding something to laugh about even during the darkest times. That’s what I write about.
Where do you find inspiration for writing?
Funny you should ask? My daughter asked me the same thing a couple of months ago. We were driving to the city on snow covered country roads. A little rust bucket of a car had trouble stopping at an intersection and nearly t-boned a big new pick-up.
“There,” I said. “That’s inspiration. I can write an entire book based on that simple unexpected incident we just witnessed.”
And I am. It should be finished next week. Of course in my book she actually hits the truck and the story unfolds from there, but inspiration is literally everywhere when you have a fertile imagination. It’s in a store, or in bits and pieces of conversation you hear in a crowded restaurant. Sometimes it’s a dream and you wake up and quickly make a few notes. As they say, “everything is copy.”
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where you go?
Scotland, but I would also like to see Ireland. My great grandparents were born in Scotland and I have a great-grandmother of my father’s side that came from Ireland. Yes, I would definitely like to see both of those countries.
Would you rather do the spanking or be spanked?
I would definitely want to be on the receiving end and at 5’2” I’m sure I would feel quite silly trying to spank a man. I don’t think I’m submissive by nature. I can be quite feisty when the need arises, but Bill was 6’2” and I became quite adept at back-peddling, lol. He was the only man who ever spanked me.
Of course there is more than one kind of spanking. There’s the “don’t you ever do something like that again,” spanking and there’s the “hey, want to do a little research?” spanking. I much preferred the research.
How much research do you typically do on a novel?
That depends on the novel. I did a lot of research for The Marriage Market Series and Crystal’s Calamity, which is part of The Red Petticoat Series.
There is little research needed for my contemporary novels. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a city named in most of them. The general location can be mentioned, but most of them could be Anywhere, USA. No one knows where the O’Malleys live or where the main office of Sugar Babies, Inc. is, so readers can use their imagination.
What was the hardest part about writing?
That’s easy, the blurb. Trying to condense fifty thousand words into something that will catch a reader’s attention in a paragraph or two is very difficult.